Amy Taylor Sets a Heroic Scene
Wonder Woman. Black Widow. Jean Grey. Storm. Maria Hill. To many, those first four names represent the most powerful women in any superhero universe, but the list is hollow if it leaves off the fifth. Maria Hill is the right hand woman to Nick Fury, the director of S.H.E.I.L.D., an international (and interdimensional) organization that operates the Avengers. The heroes of this, and many other worlds, go where she tells them to go, and if it weren't for her actions in this summer's biggest blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron, the entire planet earth would have been wiped of organic life.
In the movie, Maria is played by Cobie Smulders, an actress who found her way into the living rooms of America over her nine season, astronomically successful SitCom, How I Met Your Mother. But while that show made her a household name, it is the Avengers that gives her the platform to make her mark.
When it comes to superhero canon, the landscape is regrettably short on female superheroes. Those we do have are powerful, complex, dynamic, intelligent: a fair representation of any woman. And until that canon catches up with our contemporary understanding, we will be left with a drought of superheroines in mass media. Luckily, on the cover of Glamour México, we see what makes Colbie a woman, what makes her feminine. The set designed by Amy Taylor is graphic: three dimensional blocks and two dimensional squares are all painted in pastel. This soft rainbow echoes the dresses that Cobie wears, and in turn show off her softness, her femininity. But inside that grace is an ease, she sits with it unapologetically and honestly.
Lounging across Amy's built steps of color, Cobie owns her femininity with a power that edges on alarming - not that she should be watched, but we should probably watch ourselves. In many ways, Amy's set is Cobie and is Maria Hill. The blocks and squares are supportive, strong, and bold but their colors paint their grace. They are both powerful and elegant; a combination that should surprise no one. It is a dichotomy that should be expected, understood, and known. This is not new, this is reality. And the more Maria Hills, and Black Widows, and Wonder Women we get to see on the big screen the less it should surprise anyone.